My Recent Experience with Flow
I had to switch careers to rediscover flow states and become happier.
“You’ve experienced days where you’ve done many tasks but feel like you didn’t do much.”
Wow, this is how I felt every single day working as a full-time physical therapist! Needing to split my attention between 2–3 patients every hour while simultaneously writing down in real-time every single thing occurring for the medical documentation meant I would leave a 9–10 hour day feeling like I didn’t do much at all.
I even had a boss this year who shamed me for not being able to instantly pivot tasks when someone would interrupt me. They told me to just be positive, like their culture of constant interruption would be solved if I were smiling about it.
Working now as a Medium blogger, I have the luxury to actually get work done on my own terms without interruption and with the occasional flow state.
That restores the relationship between effort and reward, which is inherently motivating. In my previous career, more effort just meant more talks with the boss about “being here too late” (usually meaning: do a worse job so you can leave sooner and we can pay you less).
Of course, in healthcare, any physical therapist who gets patients better twice as fast as his or her colleagues makes only half the money for the company, so there is really no relationship between effort and reward at all.
Deep Work = Deliberate intent to improve + Flow state
I really like the idea of deliberate practice, sans interruption, in a flow state. To me, that definition of deep work sounds like the definition of (personally) meaningful work.
Recently I’ve been experiencing a lot of flow states, especially practicing basketball by myself but also when writing and giving massages.
With the amount of distractions, interruptions, and meaningless paperwork, I never experienced flow once while working as a PT.
Is it any surprise that I find myself happier that I experience flow most days of the week now?
Thanks for the enlightening article Ayodeji Awosika !!!